Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Note on Centralised decision making and role of 4Pl providers.

A note on centralised decision making and the role played by 4PL providers.

The other day while taking the case study of Kimberly Clarke and their vendor managed inventory programme in US for the senior PGDBM students at XIME, we had an interesting observation coming from the students side that centralised inventory management is more efficient than decentralised inventory management. Indeed, in literature it is shown that centralised inventory system is more efficient than decentralised ones. In fact, my thesis had some bearings on how centralised decision making will make an inventory system more efficient and lead to cost reduction. It is basically because, in decentralised systems, the independent entities upstream and downstream, often under different management control will be working at optimising their local  costs than optimising the supply chain costs, while centralised systems will look at optimisng the overall costs.

Optimising the entire supply chain costs would entail some entities incurring higher costs for the sake of the whole supply chain, which would not happen in the case of decentralised networks. But how can different entities working at cross purposes of local optimisation work for the overall benefit of the entire supply chain ?

It is in this context that we discussed about an external entity who co-ordinates the functions of the different players in the supply chain.We have the different third party logistics providers who perform the different functions for the organisation like transportation, warehousing, IT etc.. The fourth party who co-ordinates all these functions for the organisation, in turn acts like a centralising authority overseeing the different functions of the organisation being implemented by again different entities, we call this centralising authority the fourth party logistics provider.

In short, the fourth party logistics provider acts as an integrator of multiple 3PL providers. This integration is not only across one organisation function, but multiple functions across multiple organisations. The 3PL provider is thus able to integrate functions for the organisation at a higher level. The organisation benefits from the 4PL provider not only from the higher level integration and aggregation which is provided  to the organisation, but also from the superior learning and implementation the 4PL player has across different similar or dissimilar organisations.


1 comment:

  1. Your blog is running very fast for this brain to catch up with.....


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